BANGOR, Maine — After going 2-8 in Texas to start its season, Husson University’s softball team was 4-4 in its last eight games before Wednesday’s home doubleheader against University of Maine-Presque Isle at O’Keefe Field.
The Eagles made it 6-4 with two, eight-run-rule victories Wednesday at O’Keefe Field. Husson’s 10-2 and 8-0 wins over the Owls gave them their second doubleheader sweep in two days
“Winning these doubleheaders really helps give us a turbo boost now,” said pitcher Nicole Sargent.
Sargent, a junior from Sullivan, pitched a two-hitter in the second game with no walks and two strikeouts over five innings.
“My rise was working very well,” Sargent said. “When I throw it inside and it rises up, they get caught off guard. My changeup was really good today, too.”
So was Husson’s offense, which was led off for the first time by Courtney Hill, a freshman from Calais getting her first two starts of the season.
“This is my first time starting, so I think that gave me confidence,” Hill said. “I had to work my way into the lineup and I think I did that today.”
She certainly did, going 4-for-5 with four singles, three walks, three runs, and two RBIs.
“We’ve used her more as a role player for pinch-hitting and pinch-running,” said Husson head coach Amanda Davey. “I just wanted to see what she could do and she definitely produced today.”
Hill wasn’t the only one producing. Junior left fielder Dottie Cameron had two doubles, a single, a run scored and six RBIs in seven at-bats to power the Eagles, who are now 8-12. Brianna Webster, a sophomore right fielder from Belfast, had three singles and two runs in six at-bats.
“We’ve been really struggling against slow-pitching teams, but I think we focused in on the ball, dropped our hands, and didn’t pop it up much today,” said Hill.
In the first game, the visiting Owls jumped on Husson starter Kara Poirier quickly with two runs in the second via back-to-back, two-out RBI singles by Lainey Herring and Desiree Smith, but Husson answered quickly with three in its half of the second via three hits and an error.
The Eagles would put the game away with four more in the fourth as UMPI committed two of its seven errors. Husson made UMPI pay as all 10 runs were unearned.
Meanwhile, Poirier (1-0) earned her first decision of the season after settling down and giving up just three hits the rest of the way and eight total. She didn’t walk a batter.
In the second game, Sargent (2-5) clipped the Owls’ offensive wings while her offense and defense backed her up.
“When I know everyone’s behind me, I feel like I can throw anything I want to,” Sargent said. “Their pitchers were a little slower, so I just kept my head down and waited on it a little more. It’s all about being patient.
“It takes us maybe two innings to get our timing down, but when we’re hitting it, it gets contagious.”
It was a full-blown outbreak in the third as Husson had four hits and plated six runs. Aimee Mortensen hit a two-run double and Cassie Berry had an RBI single to highlight the outburst.
“We’ve had a little bit of trouble with slower pitchers, so we try to choke up and play the short game,” Davey said. “In the first game today, we tried bunting and slapping more.”
Sophomore Cassie Green was the only one in the hit column for 3-15 UMPI with two singles.
Husson turned one double play and made no errors.
“Defensively, we make some errors here and there, but the big difference is we’re making the big plays: the double plays and taking some hits away,” said Davey.